LocaLHood Website Team Volunteer, Winnie Tse, shares her enjoyable experience of pink dolphin watching which she got as a Mother's Day present. She finally went for this exciting tour with her family recently. Summer is here in HK and with it brings the heat and the humidity. If you are staying put in Hong Kong, this could be a beautiful calmer period to go meet the Dolphins!
For want of swimming with the pink dolphins, the next best activity is to cruise with them. That’s just what my family did one rainy Sunday with DolphinWatch cruise, which guarantees that you can spot the playful Chinese white dolphins in Hong Kong waters or you get to go on the next cruise free.
In Pic: Dolphin preparing to leap (Source: Eva Lau)
First Leg: On the Tour Bus
A tour bus collects us first from Tsim Sha Tsui to take us to the Tung Chung pier. On the way, our guide introduces us to the habitat of the pink dolphins in the Pearl River Delta and more specifically in Hong Kong, in Tai O and near the Greater Bay Area bridge. The tour was made up of a mix of locals and overseas tourists, mainly families with young children. We were all very excited to be on the tour and there were lots of questions and attentive listening when the dolphins’ habitat and lifestyle were introduced.
In Pic: , of Greater Bay Area bridge (Source: Mitchell Lau, age 9)
Second Leg: On the Cruise Boat
After a 30-minute tour bus ride, we were transported to a cruise boat where we were taught to give pointers according to the hours of a clock if we had any sightings of dolphins. After 15-20 minutes past the Greater Bay Area bridge, we found the dolphins! Shouts of “Here!”, “On your Left!”, “To the North!” showed that we all momentarily forgot how to identify our bearings in our excitement. The dolphins greeted us with splashes of tail and snout. Then some curious younger pink dolphins came closer to have a better look at us—and us, them. Their soulful eyes were human-like and bright with intelligence.
In Pic: pink dolphin sighting (source: Mitchell Lau, age 9)
Without any prompting, they treated us to a jump and a splash. Too fast for a phone camera, only those on the cruise who put down their phones to feast on the wonders of the sea caught it in the photograph of memories.
In Pic: Fellow tourists on the cruise (Source: Author’s own)
Third Leg: Turning Back-But Wait…
After sighting around 5 dolphins, all too soon, it was time to head back to shore for lunch. When the boat turned back, a small kid’s voice shouted, “Wait, there are more!” and we all turned around to find more dolphins swimming rapidly to a nearby fishing vessel. The dolphins were hungry for lunch too. After some deliberation, we decided to turn back and watch the dolphins feed first. Some clever egrets also got in on the action by perching on the sides of the fishing net structures and waiting to catch the fish caught in the net. We spotted a mother dolphin with her baby calf feeding together. Calves are grey until they reach maturity and turn white. The dolphins look pink because they are naturally white and the blood vessels near the surface of their skin make the dolphins look pink when in action.
In Pic: Mother with baby calf (Source: Eva Lau)
In Pic: Fishing trawler with dolphins (Source: Mitchell Lau, age 9)
Final Leg: Mementoes
Many photos and videos later, it was finally time to leave—but not before souvenir time! DolphinWatch sells T-shirts, dolphin stuffies, keychains and books to keep their business afloat in addition to the tour fare. The kids were all satisfied to bring home a piece of their marine wildlife experience to end the tour on a happy note. As for parents and grannies, their greatest souvenir was to see the kids and dolphins joyful on a breezy Sunday.
Details on DolphinWatch
Tour fare: HK$560 for adults, HK$280 for children for 4-5 hour tour
Time: 8:50 am-1:00/2:00 pm on Sundays, advance booking required